The Black Angels
Light in the Attic Records
Psychedelic music isn’t all about paisleys and kaleidoscopic visions. Take the Austin, Texas, dark pysch outfit the Black Angels whose droning musical witchery recalls the anti-flower power tradition of acts like the dangerous leather-clad swagger of the Warlocks, the spacey drugged-out innovation of Spacemen 3 and the post-beatnik subversive intellectualism of the almighty Velvet Underground. On their debut album Passover, the Black Angels articulate the psychedelic musical tradition in a shadowy sinister manner with songs that make subtle yet scathing critiques of contemporary world politics, the desolation of the modern world and sexual infatuation. Like messy poetic dirges bellowing from the depths of Hades, Passover’s deep, dark intensity reverberates throughout the entire album creating a hypnotic continuity that slithers and writhes from one song to the next. The opening tracks “Young Dead Men” and “The First Vietnam War” are fueled by the aforementioned dissenting spirit and are made ominous with thundering primal drumming, bellowing organs, menacing basslines and an ample amount of distortion. “Manipulation” turns the banalities of nightclub seduction into an exotic mind-control scenario turning the alluring mystery woman at the bar into a Mason-esque antagonist. Catch these rockers from the dark side when they open up for the Smashing Pumpkins July 30 and 31 at the Fillmore.